Oral Health Integration Implementation Project

The Oral Health Integration in Primary Care Project was sponsored by the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health and resulted in Qualis Health publishing the “Oral Health Integration Implementation Guide”.

50 The guide is a free resource available for download as part of the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative Resource Library, and builds upon the work published in “Oral Health: An Essential Component of Primary Care” in June 2015. The Oral Health Delivery Framework has earned the support of numerous national primary care provider associations, such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and has been formally endorsed or supported by 21 national organizations.

48 The Framework was field-tested in 19 diverse primary care practices in five states, demonstrating that it is a practical model, and implementation is feasible in diverse practice settings. Among the field-testing sites, over 13,000 patients were screened for oral health issues over the course of 20 months. Over 4,500 of these patients had fluoride varnish applied to their teeth, and nearly 1,300 patients without a regular dentist were referred to dental care.

The “Oral Health Integration Implementation Guide” provides an action plan to implement screening for oral health risk factors and active disease, initiate appropriate preventive interventions, and coordinate dental care for those with active disease.

The guide:

  • Provides a practical, tool-rich resource, filled with sample workflows, case examples, and sustainability strategies
  • Presents the Oral Health Delivery Framework, five actions primary care teams can take to protect and promote oral health
  • Offers a practical model for enhancing partnerships between primary care and dentistry
  • Explores challenges encountered by field-testing sites and the solutions they developed

Implementation Guide message to readers:

Practices beginning the PCMH transformation journey often have questions about where and how to begin.  We recommend that practices start with a self-assessment to understand their current level of alignment with the most current Patient-Centered Medical Home standards and identify opportunities for improvement. The SNMHI’s self-assessment, the Patient-Centered Medical Home Assessment (PCMH-A), is an interactive, self-scoring PDF that can be downloaded, completed, saved, and shared.

Readers are encouraged to download additional Organized, Evidence-Based Care materials available from the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative:

  • Organized, Evidence-Based Care Executive Summary provides a concise description of the change concept, its role in PCMH transformation, and key implementation activities and actions.
  • Organized, Evidence-Based Care Implementation Guide introduces the Chronic Care Model and examines the connections between it and the PCMH, then focuses on critical aspects of organized, evidence-based care including planned care, decision support, and care management.
  • The Organized, Evidence-Based Care supplement Improving Care for Complex Patients: The Role of the RN Care Manager provides practical recommendations about providing care management services to  high-risk patients.
  • The Organized, Evidence-Based Care supplement Behavioral Health Integration provides a practical guide and flexible model for primary care practices to follow to integrate behavioral health services into their practice.
  • Webinars provide additional examples, tips, and success stories and highlight the best practices of  SNMHI sites and other leading practices.